3rd quarter mutual fund performance, at a glance

It was hard to find shelter from stock market turmoil in the third quarter. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 14.3 percent. It was the second consecutive quarterly decline after stocks slipped 0.4 percent in the second quarter. Market volatility returned to levels not seen since early 2009. Stock mutual funds also ended the quarter down. Below are highlights of how mutual funds performed in the third quarter, as tracked by Lipper Inc.

? U.S. diversified stock funds: average loss, 16.7 percent

? Monthly stock fund performance: July, down 2.1 percent; August, down 7 percent; September, down 9.7 percent

? Top-performing sector fund category: Commodities specialty funds, up 1.2 percent

? Other top sectors: Precious metals funds, down 6.37 percent; Utilities funds, down 6.4 percent; commodities agriculture funds, down 7.6 percent

? Worst-performing sector category: Basic materials funds, down 27.1 percent

? Other losing sectors: Global natural resources, down 25.6 percent; global financial services funds, down 24.3 percent; industrial funds, down 22.8 percent

? U.S. large-cap stock funds: down 15.4 percent

? U.S. small-cap stock funds: down 21.8 percent

? World stock funds: down 20.4 percent

? Top-performing world stock category: Japanese funds, down 5.3 percent

? Worst-performing world stock category: China region funds, down 25.6 percent